More new medicines listed on the PBS

More than half a million Australians with severe breathing difficulties from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to see the listing of a new medicine which significantly improves their lung capacity.


COPD is a progressive disease which causes shortness of breath, coughing and excess mucus production. Patients describe their daily battle as like trying to breathe through a straw.


From 1 June 2018, the Australian Government will make Trelegy available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for up to 600,000 patients with moderate to severe obstructive pulmonary disease.


Instead of paying $1,200 per year, the listing will now mean patients will pay a maximum of $39.50 per script or just $6.40 per script for concessional patients, including older Australians, who make up the bulk of the patient group.


The condition is the second most common cause of avoidable hospital admissions in Australia. It is also a leading cause of death and disease burden after heart disease, stroke and cancer.


Trelegy is a new triple combination inhaler which improves quality of life, boosts lung capacity and reduces the number of severe attacks of breathlessness.


A landmark three year study of over 10,000 COPD patients around the world, one of the biggest studies ever conducted, found Trelegy’s use also reduced hospitalisations by 34 per cent.


The Government will also make several other medicines available on the PBS from 1 June 2018, with patients now only paying a maximum of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients–including pensioners–paying just $6.40.


Trulicity will be a new treatment option for Australians with type 2 diabetes.Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, where the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas.


Unlike many other injectable medications for type 2 diabetes such as insulin, which typically require administration several times a day, Trulicity is injected on a weekly basis, in a single use, prefilled, auto-injector pen. The patient never has to see or touch a needle, a first for PBS-listed injectable diabetes medications.


This single use, once per week injection will provide patients with greater convenience and flexibility. It will save patients around $1,700 per year.


Cabometyx is a new treatment for patients with Stage IV clear cell variant renal cell carcinoma who are not responding well to existing first-line treatments.


Without the subsidy, Cabometyx would cost patients around $129,800 a year. This will support around 500 patients each year.


Simponi will be listed for patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, saving them around $15,800 per year. This provides another treatment option for Australians with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis, administered every four weeks to help manage the debilitating symptoms of the disease.


The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listings .


29 May 2018.